Monday, February 23, 2015

Anonymity the enemy of Charity

We heard the most challenging Gospel on Ash Wednesday, traditionally the most challenging gospel of the year, on the very night we mark our foreheads with ashes, we're admonished not to do things just to be seen. Part of that gospel also encourages a tradition of anonymous almsgiving, "Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing".

Americans have gotten really good at anonymous almsgiving, our income tax structure actually supports it, from 501c3s that allow you to give without ever meeting the person you are giving to, to even the taxes themselves that go to big government programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, WIC, and food stamps.

The challenge however, is to actually see, meet, and understand the needs of the less fortunate. I put it forth that we can't do that anonymously, avoiding contact with those we give to. We need to get into the trenches and give back.

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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